By Bob Seidenberg
Northwestern University will not be resuming classes on campus this spring, but will rather continue remote instruction, the school’s top officials have said in a letter to members of the university community.
Northwestern President Morton Schapiro, Professor Kathleen Hagerty, the Interim Provost and Professor, and Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, Vice President for Student Affairs, made the announcement, on the university’s website, Northwestern.edu.
Their full letter reads as follows:
“Thank you for making the transition to remote instruction as we enter Spring Quarter. From all indications, the beginning has gone as well as we could have hoped.
“We had intended to wait until April 17 to determine whether we could return to in-class instruction for a portion of the quarter. The latest guidance from local, state and federal officials makes clear this will not be feasible. Therefore, with heavy hearts, we are announcing that we will maintain the current, remote format for the entirety of Spring Quarter.
“We know that many students who lived in campus housing left their belongings behind. Please know that Student Affairs has a plan in place and will send information to you early next week about the process of returning these items to you.
“We have not yet reached a decision about whether or not Evanston graduation events will take place in mid-June as scheduled. Our great wish is for these events to occur as planned, but only if we are able to provide students, families, faculty and staff a safe environment in which to gather together to celebrate.
“We will keep you apprised of any additional decisions we make in the coming days and weeks. Thank you, as always, for your incredible spirit of collaboration and flexibility in this extraordinary moment.”
In response to the Coronavirus and Governor J.B. Pritzker’s March 20 “stay-at-home-order,” NU officials initially extended Spring Break by a week, resuming remote instruction April 4.
All but staff essential to campus operations are working remotely, officials have reported.
The University has reported eight confirmed cases of Covid-19 on its website, with seven of the cases involving staff or students in Evanston.
The figures are based on cases reported to the Northwestern University Health Services and verified by a public health agency, the website said.
By Bob Seidenberg